Acer's Aspire 1410 is a notebook in a netbook's body

We've seen netbooks such as the Dell Mini Inspiron 12 (R.I.

We've seen netbooks such as the Dell Mini Inspiron 12 (R.I.P.) and Lenovo IdeaPad S12 in the guise of 12.1-inch ultraportables. Now Acer is trying the reverse--a notebook with the same display size as its Aspire One 751h netbook.

Rumors about an Acer 11.6-inch laptop have been swirling for weeks--under the name Timeline 1810t--but Acer has now posted the details on its U.S. site for an Aspire 1410. Like several netbooks on the market, the Aspire 1410 has an 11.6-inch display, but it uses an Intel ultra low-voltage (ULV) processor, rather than Atom, and runs Windows Vista.

There is a lot of overlap between the Aspire 1410 and the Aspire One 751h. Both have 11.6-inch displays with a resolution of 1366x768. The Aspire 1410 measures 11.2 by 8.0 by 0.9-1.2 inches and weighs 3.1 pounds; the Aspire One 751h netbook measures 11.2 by 7.8 by 1.0 inches and weighs 3 pounds.

Acer lists three different configurations corresponding to the blue, black and red versions of the Aspire 1410. But the basics specs are the same: 1.4GHz Intel Core2 Solo SU3500 processor, 2GB of memory, Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics, 250GB hard drive and Vista Home Premium. Sites that are taking pre-orders list prices ranging from $450 to $475. That is cheaper than some 12-inch netbooks, such as the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 and Samsung NC20, but more than the Aspire One 751h, which costs about $350 with a 1.33GHz Atom Z520, 1GB of memory, Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics, 160GB hard drive and Windows XP.

These ULV-notebooks should be an attractive alternative to netbooks. But despite a big push by Intel--and generally positive reviews for the Acer Timeline series and MSI X-Slim series--they seem to be off to a slow start. Acer has lowered its sales targets for this category on notebooks for the remainder of 2009, according to DigiTimes, a news site based in Taiwan. AMD executives have said that the HP Pavilion dv2, a similar ultra-thin design which uses the Athlon Neo X2 processor, has so far fallen short of expectations as well.

It could be that most customers who choose a netbook really want a netbook, not a notebook. But it's too early to tell. Te back to school and holiday shopping seasons will be a better indicator of the demand for ULV laptops that bridge the gap between netbook and notebook.


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